Bay Nature magazine, of my favorite publications on the planet, has revamped its Web site with a bunch of cool features like events calendars and maps of Bay Area attractions. Also has videos like this one:
The mountain isn’t always as boisterous as it was that night, but there’s usually something interesting happening. Often, the goings-on are surprising. Fence lizards are a common sight on rocks along the trails, but I never expected to see one dive into a creek and swim off downstream like a little alligator, as I did during one wet spring. In another wet year, wading a pool that had flooded part of a trail, I saw what appeared to be dozens of tiny squid suspended in the water. A closer look revealed that they weren’t squid, but something almost as unexpected on usually dry land—fairy shrimp, little crustaceans whose eggs can survive in soil for years until heavy rains re-create the vernal pools in which their short life cycle unfolds. Plants can be surprising here too. I once saw a particularly gorgeous patch of red and blue wildflowers on a ridgetop, and assumed they were California poppies and lupines, the commonest spring blooms. A closer look revealed that two less common plants—wind poppies and Chinese houses—had made a mass of color visible from hundreds of feet away.
The site will, of course, distract you from your No. 1 obligation of reading Two-Heel Drive but I can deal with because I’ll be lurking over there myself.